During the time of COVID-19, many people are beginning to think about some life and death situations. Will they remain healthy and, and if they don’t, how can they make life easier on their families? Any serious illness can happen without warning, and it’s important to make sure that you and your family are on the same page. Here are some important legal documents you should have on hand:
Durable Power of Attorney
This document gives you and your spouse or partner (or whomever you designate) the power to manage each other’s finances if one of you becomes incapacitated. The best route to obtaining this document is to consult with an estate planning attorney. Some banks have their own forms, so it is important to look into what might be required by your financial institution.
Health Care Proxy
This is sometimes referred to as a health care power of attorney or an advanced directive for health care. This document gives a designated person the power to make health care decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated. This can include consent for things such as surgery or life-support measures. Before executing a health care proxy, it is important to discuss your wishes with the family member or trusted friend you are designating as your proxy. You should also brief other family members about your wishes so that they don’t contest the proxy’s decisions down the line.
Medical Information Release
This document gives permission to your doctors to share your medical information with your spouse or other designated person. There is no standard medical information release form, so you should consult with your doctor to obtain the form that they use in their office.
This document describes to your spouse or designated person how you want to be treated in the face of a terminal illness. You can indicate the life-saving measures you want or do not want to be taken. Make sure you discuss your wishes with your family.
Consult with an Attorney
If you have questions about which legal documents you should have, consult with an experienced attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has over 20 years of experience helping Floridians. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.